This day last year I got into the Olympic Park for the first time to see our 2012 offices. With just a week to go til the start of the Games, I felt both thrill and trepidation at the task of organising our news coverage – there was no precedent to rely on. The Park was a mess, to be honest: paths hadn’t been laid, shrubs sat in their bags, mountains of grit blocked roads. It was still a building site.
Only after the opening ceremony, about 4am, once we had sent our special edition to the print site, did the party begin, as I began to read the headlines from around the world. We’d done it. We hadn’t messed it up. Brazil, China, India, Australia, Russia, America, Europe – almost universal delight in Danny Boyle’s spectacle. “A nation secure in its own post-empire identity – whatever that actually is,” chuckled the New York Times. (Steady on.)
What do you make of the Games, 12 months on? Feel free to write and let us know. Lord Coe speaks to i today about the continued challenge of helping young children to enjoy sport – especially girls.
My highlight was Mo Farah’s second gold, the 5,000m. I’d wanted him to win more than any other Brit – such a charming story of the cheeky kid come good – and bought a ticket through late release. Two hours of watching the website crash, then the shock of suddenly being told I had 60 seconds to complete the order.
The wall of noise that sped ahead of Mo around the stadium, the abandoned baying of the final lap as people surged rows forward from their seats – it moves me now, sweet joy and a stab of nostalgia. For Christmas I was given the 2012 box set. I haven’t been able to watch it – too soon, too raw. Maybe this weekend I’ll find a few quiet minutes to prise it open.
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